Print 36 comment(s) - last by highlandsun.. on Sep 26 at 9:27 PM

The Samsung Q1 gets a new 32GB flash-SSD

Samsung was one of the first manufacturers to jump on the UMPC bandwagon with its Q1. The Q1 has been sold rather prominently at Best Buy for $999.99 since its release. Samsung is now taking a page from Sony's book by adding a solid-state disk (SSD).

The Q1 SSD features an Intel Celeron M ULV processor, 1GB DDR2 memory (up from 512MB), a 7" WVGA (800x400) display, 802.11b/g wireless, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, two USB 2.0 ports, a CompactFlash slot and now a 32GB flash SSD (instead of the previous 1.8" 40GB hard drive).

With the spinning disk now gone, the Q1 SSD has no moving parts and becomes a lighter device overall. The switch to the SSD drops the weight of the unit from 1.71 pounds to 1.63 pounds. It also puts up some impressive numbers with 54MB/sec bursts, 47.4MB/sec reads and a 0.3ms random access time. Trusted Reviews reports:

Whether or not you like the idea of an Ultra Mobile PC doesn’t change the fact that Samsung has created an impressive technology demonstration with the Q1 SSD. The solid state drive means that there are no moving parts and thus reduces the chance of failure, even if the user is rough. The performance improvements are obvious, while the reduction in battery drain is welcome. What I’d really like to see though, is one of Samsung’s ultra-portable notebooks with one of these drives inside it.

The increases in hard drive performance and battery life come at a hefty price though. Instead of the slightly palatable $999 price tag of the original Q1, the Q1 SSD goes for £1,400 (around $2,600 USD).

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despite their best efforts...
By Quiksel on 9/25/2006 11:57:35 AM , Rating: 2
this is still a failed platform in short order.

I WANT to believe in this form factor, but MAN, that's expensive.

Congrats on almost tripling your price just to have the next big thing (tm) in your UMPC. Yeah, it's cool and all, but $2600 for one is too much.

RE: despite their best efforts...
By wingless on 9/25/2006 12:00:51 PM , Rating: 2
Even for $999, you can get a good notebook computer for business. If youre THIS tight on space then maybe its time to clean some stuff up or get a bigger briefcase.

By tuteja1986 on 9/25/2006 12:23:13 PM , Rating: 2
maybe a crappy idea but they do sell ;(

RE: despite their best efforts...
By joust on 9/25/2006 2:33:57 PM , Rating: 3
This isn't marketed towards you. This is marketed towards wealthy businessmen, execs, geeks, and early adopters who have lots of money and care mostly about battery life, "oooo and ahh" factor, and portability.

You fail to realize this is roughly analogous to how laptops were 5-8 years ago. To have a laptop with decent performance, good battery life, and low weight, you could've easily spent $3000. (And even then may not have done well with weight). Now pretty decent laptops are being sold for $600-1200. I think it's way too early to call this a "failed platform" just because it's expensive.

The Next Big Thing is usually too expensive (for many people) but fuels future growth. The subsequent generations are cheaper and better.

RE: despite their best efforts...
By Jedi2155 on 9/25/2006 7:58:04 PM , Rating: 2
If I was in the market for a mobile PC i'd definitely consider a UMPC, as I'm a big fan of being able to carry everything with me. A UMPC is small enough that it could fit in my jacket. I think the market is out there, it just needs more time to develop.

SSD at this point however is still insane to ask someone to pay a $500-1500 premium for a flash-based alternative.

RE: despite their best efforts...
By vortmax on 9/26/2006 9:34:01 AM , Rating: 2
Jedi nailed it...the fact that the price was jacked up $1500 just for a SSD is rediculous. It pretty much takes it out of the market it was previously in and places it into a much smaller one.

They are just doing it for bragging rights anyway...

Exchange Rates
By Spivonious on 9/25/2006 1:56:28 PM , Rating: 2
Prices are rarely the same throughtout countries, so using a direct exchange rate is worthless. For example, while I was in Scotland last year, a CD cost 12-20 pounds. At the time the exchange rate was about $1.91/pound, so that would make a CD $25-$40. Of course they don't cost that much in the U.S. - they're about $12-$20.

So I see the 1400 pound price translating to probably $1500, or $1499 because that's so much cheaper. Maybe $2000 at the most.

RE: Exchange Rates
By Hare on 9/25/2006 3:04:39 PM , Rating: 2
People need to use the bigmac-index when they compare prices internationally :)

RE: Exchange Rates
By Spivonious on 9/25/2006 4:17:59 PM , Rating: 2
Ha! Never heard that one before, but it works!

RE: Exchange Rates
By Hare on 9/25/2006 4:47:41 PM , Rating: 3
It works so well it's scary :)

RE: Exchange Rates
By fjeske on 9/25/2006 5:41:35 PM , Rating: 2
Price aint too good right now..
By wingless on 9/25/2006 11:59:35 AM , Rating: 2
Ok, so If I read correctly, you get 8gb LESS storage and you pay $1600 more for it. That is never a cool thing to do. Im sure when its released in North America the price will have been adjusted. If its not then I shake my finger at you Samsung!

RE: Price aint too good right now..
By Souka on 9/25/2006 12:41:36 PM , Rating: 4
you are reading correctly, but don't understand....

$1600 more gets you a faster tablet, with better battery life.

0.3ms seek is incredible...1.8" drive is typical 16ms which is about 53x slower seek. Burst is great to at 47mb/s....and that's across the entire 32GB...unlike traditional spinning Hd's which slow quite a bit as they pass %50 %75 capacaity its typical to have 1/2 the sustained throughput.

also, being solid state drive, failure of the storage device due to rough handling I would presume won't be the weakness of this unit now...

That's what the $1600 gets you. Also, expect the price to drop quite a bit in short order....

RE: Price aint too good right now..
By andrewapold on 9/25/06, Rating: -1
RE: Price aint too good right now..
By andrewapold on 9/25/06, Rating: 0
RE: Price aint too good right now..
By Dactyl on 9/26/2006 1:31:07 AM , Rating: 2
I like the botched comment more.

Whining about tech prices annoys the hell out of me. People who cry about expensive computers should be drop-kicked back to 1989.

It's not about you, it's about innovation. Not every product in the world is created to service your needs. Not every technological advance/innovation/challenge faced by the industry will benefit you in an immediate and obvious way.

Who would have thought the original expensive hard disk drive-based iPod would eventually lead to dirt-cheap flash memory prices?

bleh. a step backwards.
By hondaman on 9/25/2006 2:05:27 PM , Rating: 2
Give me a slow, small, shitty hard drive, chop the price in half, and i'll get one today. 2600.00 is too much even for the richest tech geeks.

RE: bleh. a step backwards.
By randomlinh on 9/25/2006 2:38:40 PM , Rating: 2
so get one, it's a grand w/ a normal laptop HD

RE: bleh. a step backwards.
By hondaman on 9/26/2006 12:50:41 AM , Rating: 2
I meant, slower, shittier than whats currently offered. If storage drives the price that high, my faulty logic, trying to make a point says, make it slower to chop the price.

Just Silly
By creathir on 9/25/2006 12:04:45 PM , Rating: 2
I was gung-ho for this format... was really wanting one... but the device manufactures just cannot figure out the price point for this thing. Instead of going DOWN... they go UP in price. It will NEVER take off due to the high cost of entry. It is like the Tablet PC almost... a ridiculous price point for a few nice features. Tablets did not take off until they reached that sub-$1500 mark... and this thing is slated to head down the same path the Tablet was unless they change course... and quickly...

$2500 for a 7" screen... that is just ridiculous... and I don't care if it does weigh a whole 2/10s of a pound less....

- Creathir

RE: Just Silly
By h0kiez on 9/25/2006 1:52:02 PM , Rating: 3
Wow. It's like you guys have never seen a brand new ridiculously expensive bleeding edge product before. I certainly wouldn't buy it for $2600, but just seeing flash drives used instead of hard drives gets me excited. They have to come to market before the prices can start coming down. Have a little patience...

Why does it need to be a separate computer?
By porkster on 9/25/2006 12:31:56 PM , Rating: 1
Heaps of sales would be had simply from a portable terminal screen that images and interfaces a wifi'ed laptop/desktop computer. Much simpler to build and should be much cheaper to make. Example, laptop in car, whilst worker wifi connects to it with the screen sensitive portable terminal. Connect from distance, using wifi to net access to your main computer.

To make a wifi terminal that allows remote control of your PC could probably come to market about $150. Hardly any storage is needed, bar holding the screen image and settings. You then only need a battery, a touch sensitive lcd, driving circuit, wifi protocol ability and buffering, and the plastic casing.

I'd buy one of these, especially if it had good battery life and high res screen.

There you go, the birth of the idea of the UT device. A your terminal... $$$$$$

RE: Why does it need to be a separate computer?
By glennpratt on 9/25/2006 1:33:58 PM , Rating: 2
These have already been done, and they didn't sell.

By porkster on 9/25/2006 6:35:04 PM , Rating: 1
Well I never saw them for sale. How much did it sell for? Maybe they need to revisit this idea since LCD's are so cheap.

The biggest problem with MS is the inability to market their creations.

By porkster on 9/25/2006 6:43:35 PM , Rating: 1
Just did a searc and those Smart Displays are just Pocket Pc internals with big screens and echo the XP desktop screen.

The other big problem is they are near $1000. It's any wonder they failed to take off. You need something like $150 and it's quick enough to update the terminal screen to even play games on. That would be a kill device..!!!

UMPCs aren't Powerful Enough
By Assimilator87 on 9/25/2006 1:52:33 PM , Rating: 2
I was really digging the idea of a do-it-all entertainment/work device that was available in a "small" package. When I saw one of the first screenshots of a UMPC and the guy was playing Halo, I was pretty stoked, but it seems like most of them use really weak integrated GPUs which can't play anything to be honest. Manufacturers need to increase research on longer lasting power sources so we can have GF 7600s in our UMPCs. Then maybe they'll take off and actually be worth the high price that they command.

RE: UMPCs aren't Powerful Enough
By Hare on 9/25/2006 2:08:30 PM , Rating: 3
And if they would add a mroe powerul GPU you would want a fullsize keyboard and a mouse right? After those add a bigger display, right? After a while you'll notice that you are looking at a notebook...

Get a laptop if you want power. Get a UMPC if... you want to... well show it to people and play with it?

Forget the UMPC...
By VIAN on 9/25/2006 12:20:53 PM , Rating: 2
... when can I buy one of those solid state disks?!

RE: Forget the UMPC...
By AmpedSilence on 9/25/2006 1:24:59 PM , Rating: 2
I second that....

I have to agree..
By Legionosh on 9/26/2006 9:37:57 AM , Rating: 2 much as I was wanting one I was really hoping the price would go down around tax time, and instead the price almost triples?

I am aware of the benefits of the flash based storage. Major kudos on that, but not at the expense of having a unit that people can actually afford.

Someone mentioned these are for the wealthy, but the wealthy make up a very small percentage of the populas.

Seems it makes more sense to try to gain a broader consumer base, but it's their product.

Sigh....maybe around tax time an "old" hard disk based model will be able to be had relatively inexspensively..

oh well,

RE: I have to agree..
By highlandsun on 9/26/2006 9:27:36 PM , Rating: 2
As far as SSD prices go, give it another year.

The cost of average flash is cheap enough, but something that reads and writes at about 50MB/sec - that's still expensive.
It will come down eventually. At this point it's not about the speed of individual NAND cells, it's about Samsung or some other semiconductor manufacturer wising up and building them into parallel arrays to get the aggregate transfer rates higher. That means going from 512 byte blocks per die to e.g. 32 byte blocks per die and putting 8 dies in parallel, to get an 8x speedup...

Solid Gold memory chips?
By mindless1 on 9/25/2006 12:23:32 PM , Rating: 3
So there's a $1600 price difference and ignoring the cost of the (prior) hard drive, $50/GB for integrated flash from a manufacturer making the stuff.

For $2600 it needs to come with a spare screen, 3 batteries, bluetooth/keyboard, and a carrying case made out of unobtainium.

UMPCs in general
By ajfink on 9/25/2006 12:30:58 PM , Rating: 2
UMPC popularity will not take off until they are a much more affordable. That is the underlying problem, I believe.

By blwest on 9/25/2006 4:56:22 PM , Rating: 2
What is the framrate like running World of Warcraft?

By dreddly on 9/26/2006 8:13:40 AM , Rating: 2
I just arrived in Seoul and I must say that the UMPC format and portable video players seem pretty popular here espically on the subways. As someone who was looking for ultra-portable for business and throughly unimpressed with SSD, this is quite exciting. I don't think it is that obscenely priced for the performance and portability. I will probably pick up a used one down the road or wait for the price to drop a bit.

It was the psp that sold me on the UMPC format.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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